Piston firm on demand to extend franchise consolidation deadline

Piston threatens to camp out in front of LTFRB until demands met

By: - Reporter / @zacariansINQ
/ 01:33 PM December 14, 2023

We will discuss the requests of the groups now; perhaps we can still help them.

FILE PHOTO: Jeepneys ferry passengers along Commonwealth Avenue in Quezon City on Tuesday, August 22, 2023. INQUIRER/GRIG C. MONTEGRANDE

MANILA, Philippines — Participants of the two-day transport strike have threatened to set up camp in front of the Land Transportation Franchising Regulatory Board’s (LTFRB) central office until their demands have been met.

The transport group Pinagkaisang Samahan ng mga Tsuper at Operators Nationwide (Piston) is in the middle of its nationwide transport strike beginning December 14 to 15 in protest of the December 31 deadline for franchise consolidation and phaseout of traditional jeepneys.


In a statement, Piston president Mody Floranda accused President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. of “causing an unprecedented transport crisis and massacre of livelihood” by denying the extension of the Dec. 31 deadline.


“Marcos Jr. and his cohorts in the DOTr (Department of Transportation) and LTFRB do not seem to care for these thousands of informal public transport workers,” said Floranda.

“Is this the ‘minority’ Marcos Jr. is talking about? Even if they are, Marcos Jr, DOTr, and LTFRB seem to think that these livelihoods do not matter at all,” he added.

He also pointed out that the government’s reported 70 percent consolidation rate is already a centralized number of all PUVs.

“The government is blatantly misleading the public by claiming that 70 percent of PUVs have already consolidated,” said Floranda.

“What they fail to explain is that this data includes all types of PUVs, including buses,” he added.

Reporters have also repeatedly asked for a breakdown of the figures, but LTFRB said it was the DOTR’s instruction to release already centralized data.


READ: Piston to stage 2-day transport strike

According to Floranda, there are currently 64,639 unconsolidated units nationwide, 30,862 public utility jeepneys (PUJs) and 4,852 UV Express units in Metro Manila.

READ: Bongbong Marcos denies extending consolidation order deadline for PUV operators

This amounts to an estimated 60,000 PUJ drivers and 9,000 UV Express drivers — of which 25,000 PUJ operators and 4,000 UV Express operators are located in Metro Manila alone.


Meanwhile, LTFRB chair Teofilo Guadiz III is set to hold a dialogue with Floranda amid the protest.

Guadiz made the pronouncement shortly after facing drivers and operators who participated in the protest.

“Paguusapan po namin ‘yung mga mga kahilingnan ng mga grupo ngayon, baka pwede pa namin silang matulungan,” Guadiz told reporters in a chance interview.

(We will discuss the groups’ requests now; perhaps we can still help them.)

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“Ngayon tignan natin ano pwedeng gawin para maisama sila [Now let’s see what else we can do to include them],” he added.

TAGS: jeepney, LTFRB, Piston, strike, Transport

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